Nippon Professional Baseball’s Hanshin wins Japan Series for first time in 38 years…

Hanshin Tigers, a professional baseball team based in Japan’s Kansai region, has won the Japan Series for the second time in 38 years.

Hanshin swept the fellow Kansai-based team and Pacific League champion Orix Buffaloes 7-1 in Game 7 of the Japan Series at the Kyocera Dome in Osaka, Japan, on Friday.

Hanshin swept the Oryx four games to three and lifted the Japan Series trophy for the second time in 38 years and the first time in franchise history since 1985.

Manager Akinobu Okada, 65, who won the Central League title in 2005 during Hanshin’s first reign but lost the Japan Series to the Chiba Lotte Mariners in four games to Lee Seung-yeop (now manager of the Doosan Bears in the Korean Baseball Organization), won the Central League title for the first time in 18 years and the Japan Series title for the first time in 38 years upon taking the helm of the Tiger Army for the second time this year.

Hanshin broke a 0-0 tie in the top of the fourth inning with a single and a walk to put runners on first and second before foreign-born slugger Sheldon Noiji hit a three-run homer to left field.

Back-to-back singles in the top of the fifth put runners on second and third with Shota Morishita singling to left, Yusuke Oyama hitting an infield single to shortstop, and Noiji again singling up the middle to score three runs.

Morishita drove in the final run with a single to centre in the ninth.

With a 6-0 lead and runners on first and second in the bottom of the fifth, manager Hanshin Okada pulled starter Koyo Aoyagi and brought up Hiroya Shimamoto to lock down the game.

He then brought in starter Masashi Ito, who has 10 wins this year, as his third pitcher from the sixth inning and pitched three shutout innings before sending out specialised relievers Takuma Kirishiki and Suguru Iwazaki in the ninth to seal the win.

After the win, Hanshin players celebrated by holding up Shintaro Yokota’s jersey with the number 24 on the back. Yokota was a former Hanshin player who passed away at the young age of 28 from a brain tumour in July this year.

The Oryx, who have played in the Japan Series for three consecutive years, celebrated last year, but lost to Jakarta Swallows in 2021 and Hanshin this year.

Katsuhiro Miyamoto, a professor emeritus at Kansai University, an expert on Japanese sports economics, estimated that the economic impact of Hanshin’s first Central League title in 18 years would reach ¥87.2 billion ($765.4 billion) in the Kansai region alone, and ¥96.9 billion ($805.6 billion) across Japan, far exceeding the economic impact of Japan’s win at this year’s World Baseball Classic (WBC) (¥65.4 billion).

The economic impact forecast is expected to rise further if Hanshin wins the Japan Series. 파워볼사이트

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